I was reading this article on LifeHack called 10 things only people who are hard on themselves can understand. by Amy Johnson. Some of the traits are true and some of them are nonsense. (That’s one more things for the author to hate about failing). Some of the traits I wholeheartedly agree with, because I share them and so do other people I know who are fairly hard on themselves:
- we are over-thinkers. And then some. In fact I over-think to the point where I exhaust myself. Ridiculous.
- we fixate on past mistakes. Certainly and usually with regret and shame.
- we give ourselves pep talks. True and that’s a good thing.
- we want to live life to the fullest. So does everyone but in this case Johnson means we want to live amazing, celebrity-like lives and aren’t happy when we live good lives like everyone else. True and that’s just unrealistic.
- we can’t stop thinking about constructive criticism. Sometimes that’s true and it can be very irritating – both the criticism (how dare she? what the hell does she know about me?) and whether or not there’s any truth to it.
The rest of it is nonsense as far as I’m concerned:
- we aren’t hard on other people only ourselves. Ridiculous. I expect the same work performance and work ethic from other people in my situation as I do for myself.
- compliments make us feel awkward. Really? I love them. They fuel me.
- we say sorry a lot. Actually I find it very hard to say sorry. It’s embarrassing and I hate to admit when I’m wrong even when I am.
- we don’t like asking for help. How can we not ask for help? I’m a perfectionist not infallible. No one lives in a vacuum. I need the advice from successful people in order to succeed. I don’t want to make blunders I can avoid – that’s just one more thing to over-think – and cringe about later.
Everyone is different and I am only one subjective example so maybe what’s true for Johnson isn’t true for me and vice versa. That’s what is do great about human nature. We look at things from different perspectives and analyze our experiences quite differently. At the same time Johnson is correct in stating that there are similarities in people with similar perspectives. We need a bit of both to enable diversity to work while still celebrating our uniqueness. Vive la difference.